Division Ave. HS faculty honored for saving student’s life

Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti, second from right, presented citations to four staff members at Division Avenue High School for saving the life of a student.

On January 23rd, Legislator John Ferretti honored four faculty members from Division Avenue High School in Levittown who saved the life of student Haeleigh Ortiz after she collapsed on the floor of her gym locker room due to an undiagnosed rare heart condition. 

On October 17th, Haeleigh passed out on the locker room floor and her friend ran to get help. Two nurses, Patty Leavy and Debbi Larkin rushed to the scene to find Haeleigh unresponsive and with no pulse. Physical education teacher Brian Maloney rushed into the locker room with an AED to assist the nurses in resuscitating Haeleigh, and school psychologist Doctor Thomas Tuchiano, performed chest compressions on her.

Because of these four faculty member’s actions, Haeleigh is alive and well today.

“As a lifelong resident of Levittown and an alumnus of Division Avenue High School, it fills me with pride and a sense of security to know that the faculty in the school districts in my community are so committed to the well-being of their students,” Legislator John Ferretti said.  “Because of dedicated heroes like these four faculty members who go above and beyond the normal responsibilities of their job, we all live in a better world today. I am very proud to honor these four for their work in saving Haeleigh’s life. Thank you for all you do.”


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